Wednesday, October 5, 2011

DIY Costume Designs for Children

Today we have a fun guest post from Blake about DIY costume ideas for children. Enjoy!

It's that time again! The air is crisp, the leaves are turning, and pumpkin patches are happenin'. Yep, that's right…Halloween is just around the corner! Personally, I love the challenge of creating something from scratch, and have made it our family's tradition to make all of our costumes, and my children's creativity has shown through every year. While it can be expensive to buy all of the components for costumes, dollar bins, and second-hand stores can make it easy, affordable, and downright fun!
  1. Last year, my son was inspired to be a Bumblebee from Transformers. I visited my local grocery store and begged some empty boxes off of them. I returned home and painted all of them a vibrant yellow, then had my husband paint details on them. My son wanted a costume that actually transformed, but I'm just not that creative. Instead, he wore black thermal underwear, and we fastened the boxes to his limbs, until he looked like a transformed Bumblebee.
  2. My daughter recently announced that she wanted to be Smurfette for Halloween this year. At first, I was stymied as to how to make this a possibility, but after a little brainstorming, I went online and found white tights, a white leotard, and white gloves. I also lucked out and found a Smurf hat. I then bought blue dye and dyed the leotard, tights and gloves. When you add a white sundress and her Easter shoes, voilĂ !, you have the beloved blue babe.
  3. Tron came out when I was young, and I was happily surprised to see it in theaters recently. My son temporarily pondered being a character from this movie; had he settled on this idea, it would have been easy to make it a reality. Buy white thermal underwear, glow sticks and glow-in-the-dark paint, an inexpensive bike helmet, and white shoe polish. Decorate the thermals with the glow sticks and paint, and cover the helmet with white shoe polish. Simple, right?
  4. After nixing the Tron costume, my son decided he wanted to be Two-Face from Batman. I almost talked him out of this idea, because it seemed impossible, but while visiting a second-hand store, I found a white suit in his size, and it was a cinch after that. I cut the entire suit in half, dyed one half solid black, and sewed the parts back together with a whipstitch; I did the same with a white shirt, only in reverse. I found a black wig at the same store, and with a lot of hair gel and hairspray, I teased half of it to stand on end, and colored that half white with shoe polish. The shoe polish was also applied to an old pair of black sneakers, and Two-Face was recreated.
  5. When I was a kid, my mom loved to make homemade costumes for us. Her most memorable one was when she transformed my brother into Cookie Monster. This is how she did it:
      Cut a 2'x2' piece of cardboard into a circle, fold in half, cut a circle out of center (big enough for your child's face to show through), and paint black.
      Secure blue fabric to this (Mom found blue flannel, but any fabric will do, as long as it is the right shade of blue, or can be dyed appropriately).
      Take two ping pong balls and paint black spots on them, and fasten these securely to the top of the blue fabric.
      Drape this entire contraption over your child, allowing their face to peep through the mouth, and behold the emergence of Cookie Monster!
      For added stability, you can fasten a string to the cardboard mouth/face and tie it behind your youngster's head to keep everything in place.
As you can see, making a DIY costume is easy and fun. This will show your children the importance of creativity and imagination, and will begin a family tradition that can be passed on from one generation to the next.

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